Bone quality and composition are influenced by egg production, layer line, and oestradiol-17ß in laying hens
MetadataShow full item record
AuthorEusemann, Beryl Katharina; Sánchez Rodríguez, Estefanía; Benavides Reyes, Cristina; Domínguez Gasca, Nazaret; Rodríguez Navarro, Alejandro
Taylor & Francis
Laying henLaying performanceKeel boneFractureDeviationBreaking strengthOsteoporosisBone quality
Beryl Katharina Eusemann... [et al.] (2022): Bone quality and composition are influenced by egg production, layer line, and oestradiol-17ß in laying hens, Avian Pathology, DOI: [10.1080/03079457.2022.2050671]
SponsorshipInstituto de Salud Carlos III Spanish Government CGL2015-64683-P
Keel bone fractures are a serious animal welfare problem in laying hens. The aim of the current study was to assess the influence of egg production, oestradiol-17ß, and selection for high laying performance on bone quality. Hens of two layer lines differing in laying performance (WLA: 320 eggs per year, G11: 200 eggs per year) were allocated to four treatment groups. Group S received a deslorelin acetate implant that suppressed egg production. Group E received an implant with the sexual steroid oestradiol-17ß. Group SE received both implants and group C did not receive any implant. In the 63rd week of age, composition and characteristics of the tibiotarsi were assessed using histological analysis, three-point bending test, thermogravimetric analysis, infrared spectroscopy, and two-dimensional X-ray diffraction, respectively. Non-egg-laying hens showed a higher total bone area and a higher relative amount of cortical bone compared to egg-laying hens. Hens of layer line G11 showed a higher relative amount of medullary bone and a higher degree of mineralization of the cortical bone compared to hens of layer line WLA. These differences in bone composition may explain different susceptibility to keel bone fractures in non-egg-laying compared to egg-laying hens as well as in hens of layer lines differing in laying performance. The effect of exogenous oestradiol-17ß on bone parameters varied between the layer lines indicating a genetic influence on bone physiology and the way it can be modulated by hormone substitution.